Written by Seamus Kelleher.
We’ve all witnessed the devastating impact premeditated violence can have on victims, communities and the nation as a whole. We’ve collectively mourned the loss of lives at the hands of senseless school and workplace shootings, with many people asking how we can prevent such acts from recurring. Silverback Safety & Training Solutions of Nashport, Ohio, knows that while total prevention is a difficult problem to solve, there are important steps any person can take to minimize the impact, mitigate the chaos and increase the likelihood of survival in a violent attack.
“We believe the true first responders are the people already on the scene,” said Troy Lowe, founder and CEO of Silverback Safety & Training Solutions. “Teachers, coworkers, whoever it may be—they really have the first opportunity to intervene and take action to affect the situation. No matter how quickly law enforcement arrives, there are steps that can be taken by individuals to impact the situation. Evil doesn’t mean stupid. Attackers usually have detailed plans, so we need to develop countermeasures that increase our chances of survival. If you react quickly and correctly, you’ll improve the outcome and potentially save lives.”
Lowe and the Silverback Safety Cadre of instructors have extensive experience in high-pressure scenarios. Lowe himself is a combat Veteran, SWAT team medic and firefighter, and his team of instructors tout similar resumes. As a trainer for active shooter response situations, Lowe noticed how panicked people quickly lost their ability to effectively react and complete important tasks like securing entryways and treating wounds. These realizations led Lowe to design his first products, the Barracuda Intruder Defense System and a line of wound treatment kits called The BITT Kit.
The Barracuda Intruder Defense System is a mechanism engineered to quickly and easily secure almost any style of door and effectively deny entry to attackers. The BITT Kit is a line of super trauma kits specifically designed for those with little to no medical experience, ranging from basic packs intended for schools to military-grade wound treatment. BITT Kits come complete with tourniquets, trauma dressings and more. Silverback also offers training courses and mock emergency scenarios for showcasing their products, primarily targeted to large groups such as churches, schools and office buildings.
“Our team consists of current SWAT Operators and medics, Rescue Task Force medics and combat medics. We’ve spent our careers helping people in crisis situations and we know the difference proper training can make,” Lowe said. “We’ve built a business designing products and courses showing people that they can step up and respond in a way that keeps people safe and improves outcomes. With the proper training and tools, anybody can make a difference. People don’t need to feel helpless in these situations.”
Lowe sought the help of the Muskingum County Business Incubator (MCBI), a southeast Ohio regional partner of Ohio Third Frontier, to get Silverback off the ground. Lowe said he came with an idea but not much else. He wasn’t sure how to make it a reality, but the incubator’s assistance helped him turn his concept into the business it is today. At MCBI, Lowe got help developing his initial business plan, seeking out and securing product patents and establishing connections with investors.
“I couldn’t have built this business without them. There are so many steps you don’t think of as an entrepreneur, and there are sharks in the water, challenges that could sink you,” said Lowe. “The incubator helped me navigate the waters, stay afloat and have a chance to build something here. I needed the guidance of MCBI and I will always be grateful they were there to help.”